Sig­nif­i­cant dig­its

Canadian Running - - RUNNING THE NUMBERS - By Gray­don Snider

With 2016 in the rear-view, it’s time to look back at some of sig­nif­i­cant dig­its that de­fined us and what we do. Mass par­tic­i­pa­tion in road races may have reached its peak, and road races are hun­gry to stay rel­e­vant among to­day’s youth. It was also an Olympic year, where we saw AN­DRE DE GRASSE help set two Cana­dian records in the 200m and 4x100m re­lay, and where MELISSA BISHOP and GENEVIEVE LALONDE broke the Cana­dian 800m and 3,000m steeple­chase records, re­spec­tively. Glob­ally, records also con­tinue to fall. Mil­lenn­ni­als are be­com­ing a sig­nif­i­cant force in the world of recre­ational run­ning, and new tech­nolo­gies like Strava are tak­ing hold. So be­tween ma­te­ri­als like the Ath­let­ics Canada’s Road Run­ning Sur­vey, the Run­ning usa Mil­len­nial Run­ning Study, as well as oth­ers, I present some dig­its this year that caught my eye. 2015 This was the most re­cent year avail­able where we saw the first-ever de­cline in road rac­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion. Ac­cord­ing to Run­ningUSA.org, ev­ery race dis­tance saw a de­cline of at least 3 per cent. 2014 saw the all-time peak of 550,000 Amer­i­can marathon fin­ish­ers. Still, to­tal par­tic­i­pa­tion re­mains close to all-time highs, and many tra­di­tional road races like the BOS­TON MARATHON are thriv­ing. In­ter­est­ingly, the largest par­tic­i­pa­tion de­clines were in non-tra­di­tional MUD OR OB­STA­CLE RACES that were de­signed to ap­peal to mil­len­ni­als. 2020 is the year I es­ti­mate MIL­LEN­NI­ALS will be­come the ma­jor­ity ( 51 per cent) of all marathon par­tic­i­pants. Yet over­all this group much prefers half-marathons or shorter due to a com­bi­na­tion of shift­ing cul­ture and in­come. Marathons are com­par­a­tively too ex­pen­sive for a group that prefers to spend un­der $100 per race.

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